Ukrainian deminers set an all-time record for clearing agricultural land last week. Units of the State Emergency Service, the Ministry of Defence, the State Special Transport Service and private mine action operators surveyed 19,485 ha of land subject to priority inspection and, where necessary, demining.
“We have good news. In the last week alone, mine clearance professionals have surveyed some 20,000 ha of agricultural land. This is a very powerful achievement: the rate of survey has increased many times compared to previous periods. There is still no record of demining in areas where explosive devices have been found. We will be able to achieve a significant acceleration in this area when the relevant equipment arrives in Ukraine. We are now working very actively with our partners in this regard. However, the good news is that the work is progressing at a steady pace,” said First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko.
According to the First Deputy Prime Minister, the rate of the survey will continue to accelerate in the future. This will be made possible by using the latest survey technologies, including drones. At the initiative of the Ministry of Economy and with the support of UNDP, Ukraine is currently implementing a program to test relevant Western technologies.
According to the oblast military administrations, the largest areas surveyed last week were in Kharkiv Oblast, making 14,855 ha. More than 2,000 ha each were surveyed in Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts. Lands were also surveyed in Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts.
The four-year plan for priority rehabilitation of agricultural land includes the survey and, where necessary, clearance or demining of approximately 470,000 ha of valuable farmland. The priority is to bring 165,000 ha (35%) of this land back into use by the end of 2023.